4 Panthers players the team must build around for 2021 success

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Derrick Brown
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Derrick Brown /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /

Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers OLB/S

Where the Carolina Panthers are planning to play Jeremy Chinn in 2021 is irrelevant. They must get the right sort of pieces around him to make the most out of what is clearly a special player.

Chinn wasted no time in making an impact during his rookie year. Carolina gave him plenty of responsibility at outside linebacker despite not playing the position in college. But he thrived in the role to become a leading contender for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

There will be a temptation for the Panthers to revert Chinn back into his preferred position of safety next season. Carolina struggled in this area with the veteran duo of Tre Boston and Juston Burris occupying the positions and the former Southern Illinois standout would provide an injection of energy and explosiveness that was sorely lacking.

For the Panthers to maximize their productivity, they have to improve from the second level up to the backend.

Donte Jackson appears to be the only other player who can be relied upon consistently in these areas. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carolina address this prominently either with free agents or with more exciting college recruits with Chinn’s athletic attributes.

Trading back into the second-round to select Chinn at No. 64 overall was a fantastic decision But it will all be for nothing if they cannot get better pieces around the do-it-all defender.